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Acta Med Iran. 2012;50(4):265-72.

The prevalence of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) variations and correlation with the clinical and serologic pictures in chronic carriers from Khorasan Province, North-East of Iran.

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Department of Virology, Hepatitis B Molecular Laboratory, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


This study was designed to determine the correlation of hepatitis B virus surface Ag (HBsAg) variations with the clinical/serological pictures among chronic HBsAg positive patients. The surface gene (S-gene) was amplified and directly sequenced in twenty-five patients. Eight samples (group I) contained at least one mutation at the amino acid level. Five showed alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels above the normal range of which only one sample was anti-HBe positive. Group II (17 samples) did not contain any mutation, 4 were anti-HBe positive and 9 had increased ALT levels. In both groups, from a total of 18 mutations, 5 (27.5%) and 13 (72.5%) occurred in anti-HBe and HBeAg positive groups respectively. The small number of amino acid mutations might belong to either the initial phase of chronicity in our patients; or that even in anti-HBe positive phase in Iranian genotype D-infected patients, a somehow tolerant pattern due to the host genetic factors may be responsible.

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